Tag Archives: microfiction

Friday Fictioneers – Burnt

© Roger Bultot
© Roger Bultot

It’s amazing how much can change so quickly.

One minute it’s there, the next – Poof!  Into smoke and ash.

Everything is flammable with enough lighter fluid.

People take so much for granted.

Consumerism has caused more deaths, more wars than any fire has.

I’ll teach people not to choose a new TV over an old friend.

Live in comfort, not in commodities.

The most important things are immaterial, and those can’t be burned.

Even with all these matches and gasoline, I can’t torch away my hatred for them.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

Where do you think these burns came from?


Advertisements

Friday Fictioneers – The Inevitable Cycle

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook
© Sandra Crook

A troop of tanks crushed the forest floor under its tracks: now a squished mix of weeds, dirt, and blood.  The blood doesn’t mix and rises to the top, creating a demolished field of crimson.

A soldier sits on a stump of a tree blown over by blasts.

“Men’s thirst for power is engraved into them, but it is a different kind of natural.

“While above ground, we destroy the Earth in our battles, but one day soon, the Earth will win the war, and we will be under it.

“Our bodies will crumble into compost and regrow what we’ve done.”




Part of weekly Friday Fictioneers where writers write short stories in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt.

The Hands of Time, Pt. 2

He went back outside

Into the harsh light of day.

He constructed a new way to look at the world,

Which is why he wore wired rims

That that held corrective lenses,

But not ones that helped him see closer

Or farther away,

Rather, lenses that flipped the world upside-down,

And reflected the sun’s rays.

In his own desired ways.

The others with their sunglasses mocked his hindered vision

As he stumbled around at first,

But when his eyes adjusted

To the way he wanted to see,

His view of the world changed greatly-

The freedom of living

Is not the cost of toys.

And real sweet dreams

Outshine the black of closed lids.

The clock was not stealing me away,

But taking me to where I did not know

The destination was skewed

By the blinding truth

That the clock took me

To where I truly needed to go.

And with the help of my lenses

I can withstand the outdoors.

The others only try to dim it.

I can now clearly see

The clock counting up.

I do not fear the clocks hands pulling me in

Because I can now hold its hands

In happy anticipation.

I know now that lovers

Remain not for need, but for jubilation.

All of my questions

Have already been answered,

But all the answers are the same.

So next time I am confused

About who, what, when,

Where, why, and how,

I will always have one answer:

Love

He was now an adult.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Acclimation

erin-leary
© Erin Leary

I remember a couple years ago, after getting into a shouting match with my mom’s boyfriend about my report card, running outside and hiding behind the old tool shed.

My neighbor, Tom, who’s a couple years older than me, saw me crying.  He came over, sat with me, and handed me a cigarette.

“I could hear you guys from my room,” he said while he lit it.  It put me into a coughing fit.

“You’ll get used to it,” he said as he handed me another.  And, eventually, I did.

I guess I’ve gotten used to a lot of things.

The Hands of Time, Pt. 1

In a quaint little house
On top of a hill,
A young boy was nestled
In the comfort of his home.
The glow from the screen
Of Saturday morning cartoons
Were only outshined
By the glare of his loving parents,
Whose faces sometimes changed
But remained just as bright.
The gloss of their eyes mirrored in his
When his were not fixated on toys and friends,
But when he was busy with his boy things,
The shine of his parents’ eyes reflected
In the face of the clock.
The clock face had no sparkle of its own,

But basked in the light it absorbed
From the boy’s parents.

One day, while becoming bored with his toys,
The face of the clock grew restless.
Its hands reached out, grabbed the boy,
And drug him outside, into the harsh light of day.
The sun’s harsh rays irradiated his skin
And temporarily blinded his eyes:
The radiance severe and unforgiving.
The boy felt the hands of the clock let go
And he was left alone under the sunlight.
When his eyes finally adjusted
He realized he was not alone.
There were many other people around,
Aged from him to elderly.
Almost all of them were wearing sunglasses,
Which undoubtedly would help in the given condition.
The boy slinked back inside the comfort of his home.
He went to tell his parents of the horrible incident,
But when he saw them, they looked different.
Their faces were not as bright as they used to be-
Did the sun make them pale in comparison?
He looked over to the face of the clock,
Whose illuminance had stayed the same.
It did, however, seem different-
More threatening.
The clock had started ticking down
Instead of ticking around.

Time finally dragged me into the light;
I am now a man.
The colors I used to see are all turned to grays.
I couldn’t ask enough questions,
But now have too many answers.
The scariest of nightmares
Are when I’m awake.
Companionship used to be wanted,
But now it is needed.
Freedom of toys
Is now the cost of living.
We used to hold hands because we had to;
Now we hold them in hopes for comfort
When those clock’s hands drag us away again.

Brrring!

Brrring!

She sat hugging her knees, looking over at the payphone.  It had been ringing off and on for what must be hours now.  It was very tempting to answer it, but she couldn’t bring herself to.  She would have to uncurl herself from the corner she sat in and that would release all the heat she has been herding.  Heat and her torn, oversized shirt were her only other commodities in the cell; she was not afforded a bed and could not keep her dinner tray.

Brrring!

She did not know whether they, whoever ‘they’ were, had installed this phone for her or whether it had already been here.  It definitely seemed old, but it was difficult to determine much about it in the darkness.  After weeks of imprisonment, her eyes had adjusted to shadow as much as they could.  When she had first arrived here, she didn’t even notice the faint red glow from under the door.

Brrring!

But now she has to cover the crack under the door to sleep; a nightlight wouldn’t deter the nightmares anyway.  Her nightmares wouldn’t let her forget, no matter how much she begged them.  She was already sorry, and if she could go back and do it differently, she would.

Brrring!

She could hear footsteps coming.  It must be dinner time.  A tray slid from under the door.  As much as she loved the comfort of the heat she had trapped, it was worth it to her to let it go for more food.  Perhaps after she satisfied her hunger she would try to create her ball of warmth yet again.

Brrring!

Dinner was the same thing as it had always been: eggs and water.  She grabbed one of the eggs and cracked it on the edge of her tray.  She thought they were supposed to be hardboiled, and she always asked for them to be scrambled, but there had been many times when yolk spilled onto the floor.  There had even been a few times when some kind of bird embryo fell onto her tray.  The thought if it still made her shudder, even after all of this.

Brrring!

She was just happy that it was too dark for her to fully see it.  There were no embryos this time, and only one egg was a little runny.  Even if there had been one, it wouldn’t have stopped her from eating.  She could block out the thought of it when she was hungry; it was when her hunger settled that the thought if it bothered her.

Brrring!

After all her eggs were cracked, she took a drink of water to prepare her stomach.  She had to stick out her tongue after tasting it; the saltiness of it still surprised her.  They always gave her a utensil for her eggs, but she didn’t want it.  It was impractical to eat eggs with forceps.  Instead, she brought the tray closer to her face and vacuumed them up into her selfish mouth.

Brrring!

She wished the phone would stop.  Didn’t it know she was busy?  Was it going to bother her forever?  She just couldn’t bring herself to answer it.  She didn’t trust the phone.  Maybe it was because she already knew who it was: she couldn’t bring herself to listen to the baby’s cries anymore.  Or maybe she didn’t trust it because the phone line was cut.

Brrring!

The Illustrator

His hand was starting to cramp.  He had been drawing all night.  He loved being an Illustrator, but the long nights wore on him and his creativity drew thin for the night.  He had been given a large piece of circular poster board and told to draw as many different characters as he could.  He was filling one of the only remaining empty spaces when the cramp in his hand shot a painful twitch down his fingers.  The character was now disfigured.  He breathed a distressed sigh and pulled out his eraser, but when he brought it down to the board-

“Hey!”

He jumped, almost flinging his eraser across the room.  He collected himself and began his assessment.  He surveyed the room for the source of the interjection, but did not find it until-

“Down here!” said the character he had just been drawing.

The illustrator gave his head a gently shake and wiped his eyes.  It had been a long day at work.  Hallucinating just meant it was time for bed.

“Don’t erase me!”

The Illustrator leaned down closer to the drawn figure.  “But you are misshapen.  Your body has become twisted.  It has encircled and consumed all of you.  I must erase you so I can draw a new person.”  The Illustrator paused after saying ‘person’.  It was such a sentient, even human, term to describe such an entity.  The strangeness of the word did not surprise him, but rather his comfortableness with using it.  He loved illustrating and therefore he loved his creations.

“I am OK with my abnormalities if it means I can stay,” said the caricature.

The Illustrator paused and humbly considered this predicament.  Despite almighty position in this circumstance, he felt pity.  He pondered a resolution that would satisfy his love and his creation’s fear.

“How about this: I erase you now so I can make room for a new character, but I promise to redraw you, this time flawless.  I will frame you and hang you on my wall.”